by Quentin Singer
Following his attendance at Berklee College of Music, Bryce Vine has begun to steadily rise in the mainstream music scene. His debut EP, Lazy Fair, earned critical success, becoming a streaming hit on Spotify, with singles such as “Sour Patch Kids” totaling 16 million streams. Bryce’s most recent track “Drew Barrymore,” is garnering him even more attention. Not only has the song accumulated over 11 million streams, but Taylor Swift has featured it on her most recent Spotify playlist. While Bryce Vine is well on his way to being a household name, we got the chance to catch up with him and pick his brain about his music and and recent fame, as well see him perform at Boston’s House of Blues.
Berklee Groove: So, your most recent Track “Drew Barrymore” is really starting to explode. What was your inspiration behind a track like this, from both a musical and lyrical approach?
Bryce Vine: Same way I approach everything, man. I just sit down or an idea sparks into my brain, and I’m just like “Oh okay lets roll with that.” I actually started writing the verse first. I made the beat one day, and I started writing the 1st verse the same day. The idea behind it was to write a song that didn’t involve about talking about someone’s looks.
BG: Is the song actually about the Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore?
BV: So, my song is not about Drew Barrymore. It’s about someone with the qualities that I think about with the legacy [of] Drew Barrymore. There’s something about her that’s super special that you can’t really explain, and she is kind of Hollywood royalty that everyone knows about. So, she’s a good example of someone who’s personally like that to you.
BG: What did it feel like to see “Drew Barrymore” get featured on one of Taylor Swifts Spotify playlists?
BV: It just makes me happy man. The recognition is great. When you work really hard on something, a big part of you is appreciative that anyone would recognize it, but if you know you’re good at it, a big part of you is also like, “Yeah, I worked hard on this, and I think it’s good so it should be appreciated.” Especially from someone like Taylor Swift, you know what I mean? She writes all her own stuff and is just a true artist.
BG: Being a former Berklee Alum, what advice could you offer to current Berklee artists that are starting to breakout into the music industry? More specifically, what have you found most challenging being an artist in the modern music industry that you weren’t aware about prior to graduating Berklee?
BV: I don’t know if this will apply to other people because I was so unsure when I was at Berklee of what I wanted my sound to be, and I was still looking for a direction on my own stuff. However, you’re surrounded by musicians and people [with] different talents. I started figuring out how to do pop music by knocking on someone’s dorm room door because I heard a cool beat coming out of it. Then I met him, and then I started working with him and another guy, and things started building from there. You try different things out of your comfort zone, otherwise you’re never going to make something new. I joined the gospel ensemble even though I’ve never been confident in my voice, ever. And it reassured me that I don’t have an amazing singing voice, not by comparison to all these other people. Then I started realizing that didn’t matter that much, and it was more about getting from it what I could get from it. So, I guess being open and being friendly enough to people: where you’re not in their personal space [unwanted], but wanting to be [a] part of good music. Meet the right people, meet the people who are driven. The best thing that ever happened to me was meeting my producer now at Berklee, Sir Nolan. He produces for everybody: Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas. We became friends in college and started working together, and have kept working together ever since.
BG: Lastly, you’re coming out with your debut LP entitled Carnivals. What can fans and listeners alike expect from your debut?
BV: Yeah! It’s soon, but I don’t know when it’s coming out yet. The last two EPs were my personality just condensed, and now I have an entire album to show the same thing. Things that I’ve witnessed, been through, or that I’ve noticed other people go through, even as far as the state of the world. That’s why I call it Carnival because there’s a lot going on.
Getting familiar with Bryce’s music and seeing him perform it live was quite the spectacle. From his energy alone you could tell he was born to be a performer, and when the first beat dropped every member of the audience immediately reciprocated that energy. What surprised me most about Bryce’s performance was how talented I actually found his singing to be, especially after he explained to me how he’s never felt confident in his singing voice. Strictly from a vocal standpoint, practically every song sounded exactly like the recording, and even better at times. From a set that relied primarily on backing tracks, Bryce was really able to outweigh the lack of live instruments with the energy and clarity he brought to each one of his songs, ultimately putting on a very entertaining performance.